(September 9, 2017) – Sixteen years ago New Hampshire broadcasters joined their colleagues around the country in rising to the challenge of keeping their fellow citizens calm and informed after the 9/11 attacks on America. The last time the nation had been attacked on its own territory was when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941; television was almost non-existent and radio news was still in its infancy.
As Jennifer Ramsell, editor of NHAB’s newsletter, wrote in the November 2001 edition: “…our nation experienced a tragedy that will never be forgotten. The many victims in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania will live forever in our hearts as national and worldwide heroes. In light of the attack on America, broadcasters in New Hampshire – and across the world – have illustrated some of the best broadcasting efforts ever.”
One such effort was launched on September 13, 2001 as Saga Communications stations WZID FM, WQLL FM (now WMLL FM) and WFEA AM in Manchester joined forces with WMUR TV for a “Help From New Hampshire” fundraiser. With help from Citizens and Fleet Banks, the two-day telethon resulted in an unprecedented outpouring of compassion and generosity, collecting $1,120,000 for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
WLTN FM in Littleton worked with Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank to stage another 15-hour marathon with remotes in Lancaster, Lisbon, St. Johnsbury, Woodsville and Franconia. The effort yielded another $34,239 for the American Red Cross.
The recent hurricanes in Texas and South Florida have again given broadcasters the chance to prove their importance. Congratulations to all stations and personnel for keeping their audiences informed.